Prof Gregory Radick

Prof Gregory Radick

Professor of History and Philosophy of Science and Director of the Leeds Humanities Research Institute

+44 (0)113 343 3269

Summary: History and Philosophy of Biology, especially evolutionary biology, genetics and animal behaviour; History of the Human Sciences; Philosophy of Science; Philosophy of History; Intellectual Property

Greg is a historian and philosopher of science, with a main focus on biology and the human sciences.  He is the Director of the Leeds Humanities Research Institute, Editor-in-Chief of Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences and, from 2014 to 2016, President of the British Society for the History of Science.

He received his BA in History from Rutgers (1992) and his MPhil and PhD in History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge (1996, 2000).  In his final year at Cambridge he was the Charles and Katharine Darwin Research Fellow at Darwin College.  He has been at the University of Leeds since 2000, based throughout at the Centre for History and Philosophy of Science.  From 2006-8 he served as the Centre's Director, overseeing the creation of a new University Museum of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine.  In 2010 he was promoted to a personal chair.  In 2012 he gave an inaugural lecture which can be viewed here.

His recent projects mainly concern genetics, though Darwinism is an ever-present interest, as are mind and language, historical counterfactuals, and intellectual property in and around the sciences.  In 2012-14 he led a project that, inspired by his historical research, sought to develop and test a de-Mendelized genetics curriculum.  In 2013-14 he was on sabbatical leave funded by a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship to work on a book about the debate that followed the introduction of Mendelism after 1900.  Currently he is leading a project to promote historically informed discussion about intellectual property as it bears on genetics and plant breeding.

In 2010 his book The Simian Tongue: The Long Debate about Animal Language (2007) was awarded the Suzanne J. Levinson Prize from the History of Science Society for best book in the history of the life sciences and natural history.  His other books include, as co-author, Darwin in Ilkley (with Mike Dixon, 2009) and, as co-editor, The Cambridge Companion to Darwin (with Jonathan Hodge, 2nd edition 2009).  He has appeared on In Our Time on BBC Radio 4 and contributed to the Times Literary Supplement, the New Scientist and other publications for a general readership.

He would be glad to hear from students interested in doing PhD or MRes dissertations on any aspect of biology, psychology and/or anthropology considered in "HPS" perspective.  

Selected Recent Publications

  • "Intellectual Property, Plant Breeding and the Making of Mendelian Genetics." With Berris Charnley.  In Owning and Disowning Invention: Intellectual Property and Identity in the Technosciences in Britain, 1870-1930, eds. Christine MacLeod and Gregory Radick. Special issue of Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 44 (2013): 222-33.
  • The Cambridge Companion to Darwin, Second Edition. Co-edited with Jonathan Hodge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  • "Race and Language in the Darwinian Tradition (and what Darwin 's Language-Species Parallels have to do with it)." Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 39 (2008): 359-70.
  • The Simian Tongue: The Long Debate about Animal Language (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2007).

For a full list of publications, see below or, for downloadable versions, see Greg's personal page